Daredevil BASE Jumps in a Wing Suit – See the Exhilarating, Death Defying Video Through His Eyes!

When the rush of jumping out of an airplane thousands of feet above the ground was no longer enough for a group of adventurous thrill seekers, a new off shoot sport was born: BASE jumping. The sport is a derivative of its parent sky diving. Its participants put themselves at significantly greater danger than those that jump from planes, as they jump from a fixed object a thousand feet or two above ground rather than the ten to fifteen thousand feet from a plane used by skydivers. Severe injury or death is a common fate for many but this serves as little deterrent.

BASE is an acronym which stands for the four types of objects the participants jump. Buildings are preferred to be jump when they are still under construction, as upon completion security make’s a successful trip much more difficult. Antennas are a favorite because of this since they normally have little to no security. Spans (or bridges) offer amazing scenery for jumps and also have little to get in the thrill seekers’ way. The final category of base jumping is Earth where sites such as cliffs or canyons are used.

The sport of BASE jumping was created by those looking to push things up another notch, so it is no surprise that this has continued as the sport has matured. Jumpers increasingly look to make the lowest, riskiest, and downright coolest jump. There is one drawback to the sport other than its danger however, the low heights they jump from lead to exhilarating but very short experiences. It is here that one a tool they share with traditional sky divers comes into play: the wing suit.

Wing suits are specialized suits which provide the wearer with a much larger surface area, creating a significant amount of lift. With their creation in the late 1990s, the length of time jumpers could spend in the air increased by a huge margin. The benchmark for a truly remarkable jump rose to levels never before seen. Wing suit jumpers were traveling farther distances for longer periods of time than had ever been thought possible. Their tricks became massively more incredible – and dangerous – as well. A practice which has been the cause of some of the sport’s most amazing videos, and unfortunately deaths as well, sees the daredevils aiming to come as close to objects on the ground while flying at high rates of speed. Jumpers will perform such stunts as going under bridges, between trees, or riding just feet above the ground before shooting off into the air again.

In today’s video, we’ll ride along with one of the sport’s practitioners Jeb Corliss. He has jumped from such sites as the Eiffel Tower and the Space Needle. Watch as he strafes close to the ground at death defying speeds, flies within mere feet of cliff faces, and even cuts the strings of balloons a man on the ground is holding! It is simply unreal and while surely not the same, I’m perfectly happy experiencing it through video.

Source: How Stuff Works, Wingsuit Flying Wiki

Jumping from an Earth point in a wing suit

Jumping from an Earth point in a wing suit

Image Credit: youtube

Strafing the ground

Strafing the ground

Image Credit: youtube

Jeb Corliss approaches

Jeb Corliss approaches

Image Credit: youtube

A successful wingsuit stunt!

A successful wingsuit stunt!

Image Credit: youtube

Inside the Bizarre Propaganda of the DMZ

The demilitarization zone, or DMZ, is arguably the most dangerous strip of land in the entire world. The 2.5 mile wide, 160 mile long area was created under the Korean Armistice agreement in 1953. Its purpose was to create a buffer zone between the two sides, which two this day are technically still at war. Anyone who dares to enter it puts their life in grave danger both from snipers and the many mines, electric barriers, and other defenses that are spread throughout.

The two sides still regularly appear to be on the brink of bloodshed. Tensions are high, and there is little trust between the Koreas. With their close ties and proximity however, ignoring each other is simply not possible and open communication is vital to peaceful relations. At especially difficult times it is very common for the sides to disengage from one another completely.

Each side engages in propaganda directed towards their neighbor. If one builds a flag pole, the other builds one higher. When South Korea built apartments near the DMZ border, North Korea responded by building grander ones. It was later discovered, however, that the North Korean apartments were mere facades and not actually inhabited at all. Still, North Korean minders had caretakers sweep the sidewalks to ensure a beautiful walkway for the non-existent residents. Tactics as simple as pointing a loudspeaker towards the other have also been used.

World's 3rd largest flag pole at the DMZ

World’s 3rd largest flag pole

Image Credit: Kijong-dong Wiki

The posturing carries over even into the conference room set aside for meetings. Here, guards from each side stand watch 24/7. Only the best of the best are chosen for these positions. North Korea sends only their most loyal and well fed soldiers. South Korean soldiers must be at least 5’10” tall and while on guard must stay in an intimidating Tae Kwon Dao stance. United States soldiers that accompany them are typically chosen based on size as well.

South Korean soldiers

South Korean soldiers

Image Credit: JSA Wiki

The marked difference between the two sides stands out very blatantly in one area. While the free, democratic South’s formation is geared to security against the North, the North’s seems to be geared against their own soldiers. For instance, the South Korean soldiers will stand at attention on their side facing towards the North, each man always watching for anything unusual. The North on the other hand arrange their soldiers much differently. A total of three soldiers are used, with one standing with his back towards the South and the U.S keeping watch for anyone who dares to attempt defecting. The two remaining soldiers stand facing each other so that they are accountable for one another. In this way, the soldiers are each watching over one another as if they fear any brief lapse could lead to an attempted defection.

North Korean soldiers on watch

North Korean soldiers on watch

Image Credit: JSA Wiki

The lack of trust even carries over to when documents are exchanged. When something must be passed across, each side forms a human chain so that no attempt can be made by their enemy to pull a soldier across as hostage.

The animosity between the North and the South has been high for quite some time now, and considering that these are but a few of the great lengths each side goes to intimidate their neighbor, things sadly appear unlikely to change anytime soon.

Source: JSA Wiki, Kijong-dong Wiki

How the Director of The Deer Hunter Went on to Make the Worst Movie Ever

After a successful production of the movie Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, director Michael Cimino could afford to be pickier. He was presented with many projects but none really excited him. He chose to let his success ride by going out on a limb and pitching the idea for the move that would become all time classic The Deer Hunter.

Though it cost more and took longer to film than had been planned, the gamble paid off and paid off many times over. The film was a smash hit both at the box office and in the reviews. Critics and moviegoers alike were enthralled by the tale of the Vietnam War’s effect on a small American town. When awards season came, the cast and crew were again awash in praise for their work. Among the haul were five Oscars. Cimino would take home Best Director and Best Picture.

With two wildly successful films under his belt those in the film community seemed to think Michael could do no wrong, including the man himself. Since his entrance into the film world about a decade earlier, Cimino had held near and dear to him a screenplay he dreamed of one day bringing to the big screen. Unfortunately in his career’s early years, he did not have the pull to bring his vision to life and the project had been shelved for quite some time.

cimino-1Image Credit: firstshowing.net

Cimino presented his screenplay, Heaven’s Gate, to United Artists and was given free rein to make another masterpiece. His film would be a western epic, told in three separate periods. The studio gave him a budget of $11.6 million dollars, but in an unusual move for the time placed no language in the contracts penalizing him should he overspend. The writing for what was to come was already on the wall.

Stars such as Kris Kristoffersen and Christopher Walken arrived in Kalispell, Montana in April 1979 ready to begin shooting. Things began to go wrong immediately. The shoot fell behind by the day, with each turn of the calendar putting them even farther behind schedule. Cimino would famously shoot and reshoot – and then reshoot again. Some say he planned all along to surpass the one million feet of footage shot for the recent film Apocalypse Now.

A scene featuring Kris Kristoffersen

A scene featuring Kris Kristoffersen

Image Credit: nytimes

Sets were never right for perfectionist to the point of absurdity Cimino. A tree he wanted for a shot was cut down, sawed into pieces, then moved to a new location and reassembled. An entire irrigation system was built in a field to ensure that the grass would stay green, as it was to be the site of a battle and he wanted the blood to contrast as much as possible. Perhaps the most egregious example lies in the street he had custom built for his film. Upon seeing it, Cimino decided it needed to be six feet wider. Rather than simply moving one side of the street back by six feet, he would insist that both sides be moved outwards by three feet each.

With the film already well behind schedule and massively over budget (to the tune of approximately $30 million dollars), United Artists executives were growing desperate. With no financial penalties able to be levied against him, there was no reaching the eccentric Cimino. They sought out other directors but were unsuccessful and had to carry on with the status quo.

Shooting would finally complete with about 220 hours worth of film on hand. This would still not be the end of the nightmare for those at UA. Fearing other editors getting their hands on his work, Cimino had the locks changed at the studio’s editing bay.

The nightmare would mercifully appear to be reaching its conclusion when Cimino arranged a screening of Heaven’s Gate. To their horror, the movie would drone on and on for an excruciating 5 hours and 25 minutes. Out of touch Cimino assured them that was nothing to worry about, as the final cut of the movie that would go out to theatres would be at least fifteen minutes less. Mercifully, he would re-enter the editing bay at the studio’s request and cut the film to 219 minutes.

cimino-3Image Credit: Tentacle Chris

Unsurprisingly, the movie was a disaster all around. Critics and audiences alike hated it. It was heavily panned and would earn just $3 million dollars at the box office, a loss of $40 million. It was such a disaster for the studio its parent company Transamerica decided to exit the movie making business altogether. Other directors unattached to the project even felt its wake. After the massive train wreck of Heaven’s Gate, the freedoms many top directors had been given in earlier years were erased by studios terrified of becoming embroiled in a similar situation.

Cimino would go on to direct just four more movies. All would be also be bombs, but none was quite the masterpiece of ineptitude that was Heaven’s Gate.

Source: HG Wiki, Cimino Wiki